085 – Toxic Relationships

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TOXIC RELATIONSHIPS….

Before I get into it, I want to say thanks to everyone who has been sending me feedback about the show, and about the video spot HooplaHa did about us.  The feedback I’m getting really makes my day.  It makes me feel like we are on the right track, that the message is being received, and that it is having a positive impact in the world.  So, thank you to everyone who has reached out and let me know your thoughts about the show…I do not take it lightly.  It makes me feel like I should keep doing this.

Today’s episode is a result of some of that feedback.  This is a listener inspired episode.  The remarkable thing to me was that this was sent in by a man who is being a better man, and he is only 16 years old.  That is so awesome, It’s great for me to know that people of his age are listening.  His name is Mike, and his question was about a certain type of relationship that many of us, myself included, are familiar with.

Many of you will probably identify with Mikes story, he had been in a serious but toxic relationship.  The girl in this relationship was manipulative and controlling and eventually had him become separated with all of his close friends, he was even getting in fist fights because of this girl, and it was putting stress on his relationships with his family as well.

After ending the relationship his friends and family came right back into his life with love and support, all of his important relationships have luckily been restored.  But, it has been two years and Mike finds himself avoiding relationships with other girls, he is meeting nice girls but the memories of the pain of this toxic relationship prevent him from making new connections.

So, like I said…I think this is a pretty common story.  It happens to guys all the time, and it happens to women as well.  I have seen women and men get involved with very controlling people or energy vampires.  They start influencing your behavior; how you dress, what you eat, who you hang out with and mostly…how you spend your time.  People like this drive wedges between you and your family because they insist on being the most important thing in your universe.

Eventually, when the relationship falls apart, which it always does…there you are, left with the remains and rubble of your former relationships.  In Mike’s case he was lucky that his friends and family rallied around him quickly, in many cases some of the damage that is done is irreparable.  It’s understandable though, that Mike has become gun-shy about relationships…who wants to go through that again?

I can relate very well to this because like I said, this has happened to me.  Yes believe it or not, I, your humble host am a former casualty of toxic relationships.  Notice I said casualty, and not victim.  I refuse to be a victim.  The truth is I was a casualty, meaning I was hurt…but it was my own fault.

That’s the first point I want to make is that whenever we find ourselves going through something like this, it is a natural tendency to blame the other human involved, after all, they are the ones doing all the bad stuff not us, right?  That may be true…but they could not treat you like that in the first place unless you allow them to.  At some point you made a choice to give something up in order to be with them…thats your fault, just as it was my fault.

I want to acknowledge Mike, because even at 16 he already knows better than to trash talk the other person, that is very adult of him.  In his letter he took responsibility for what happened and I applaud him for that.  But now he’s gun shy…the prospect of a new relationship is terrifying and understandably so.  It just so happens I know a thing or two about being gun shy as well.

In fact, there was a period of my life that I had such rotten luck with women that I just gave up…I quit.  I decided that it just wasn’t worth it to me because it seemed that every single woman I met or that I got involved with was trying to change me into something else, or they were always controlling my time and my other relationships and I was constantly dealing with their drama, in fact life had become synonymous with drama.

It got so bad that I was actually considering finding a doctor who would castrate me at one point.  I know it sounds crazy right?  But that’s how bad it got.  I figured that every bad thing that had ever happened to me was in some way because of a woman, or more specifically, because I kept getting involved with women.  I figured if I got castrated then I would no longer find myself being involved with women…I would read more, be a better friend and a better dad, life would be…peaceful.

Thankfully, I didn’t go through with that plan.  Instead, I made a choice to simply not be in a relationship no matter who I met and how awesome she might seem, relationships ceased to be an option for me.  That lasted for a good 10 years in which I was intentionally single. 

It was a good ten years.  Life was peaceful, and fun.  I still dated once in a while, but I was very clear that I wasn’t going to be anyone’s boyfriend.  During this ten years I did a lot of healing and I really got to know myself very well.  I realized that I was attracting the wrong women because my energy was wrong.  I started working on changing my energy by living in a more deliberate fashion, designing my own life instead of letting life happen to me.  For the first time I was in control of what sorts of interactions I had out in the world.  It was somewhere during this 10 year relationship hiatus that I realized I was the only one responsible for everything that happened to me. 

I was sort of like a monk who went up on the mountain for ten years…and when I came down off the mountain, I was a new man.  I still made mistakes and I still made bad choices occasionally, but  now I was in the driver seat, I was responsible and everything became a new learning experience.  It was a brand new perspective.  I was being a better man because I held myself accountable for everything that went wrong, and then I learned from these things instead of complaining about them.

So my advice to Mike, and anyone else listening who has been through the relationship grinder, who has became gun shy about new relationships is…maybe you don’t need to be in a relationship right now.  Maybe the first thing you need to do is realize that everything that happens to you good or bad, is your fault. 

If you are constantly attracting the wrong types of people maybe you need to evaluate what kind of energy you are projecting, maybe you need to look in the mirror, perhaps you should work on changing that energy so that you attract people who are kind and who are a better match for you before you jump back into the relationship ring.

There are plenty of great people out there…there really are.  If you want to start meeting them and being worthy of them when you do meet them, then you have to become a great person too.

Focusing on being a better man today than you were yesterday is a great start.  That’s really what it all boils down to actually.  Simply by making that a focus you will create the energy shift I was talking about.  As you gain more knowledge, respect, and admiration for yourself…the world will notice, and respond appropriately. 

The world, and the people in it owe you nothing.  You can’t expect to be treated well just because you are alive, you have to earn it. 

So take a look in the mirror, start seeing yourself as the world sees you.  If you don’t like something you see, then figure out how to improve it.  You can’t expect the world to like, respect, and treat you well if you don’t like, respects, and treat yourself well first.

Thanks Mike for that letter, I’m really proud of you for being a better man, especially at 16.  You have a promising future ahead of you. 

Ok every body, head out into the world this week and be conscious of the energy you are projecting.  see yourself how the world sees you and start improving the things that need improving…because that’s what you do when you are being a better man today, than you were yesterday.

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